What is CBT really and how can we enhance the impact of effective psychotherapies such as CBT?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In preparation for this new edition, I read the revised manuscripts for the chapters in this book. I can’t easily express my degree of disappointment that none of these new chapters had replied to my chapter in the first edition. This was the case even though I made it easy by breaking down every chapter into its problematic claim about CBT and an alternative, evidenced repost to each. So, how far are we ‘towards a constructive dialogue’ after 10 years? Not very far at all. On the positive side, it has made my job of revising my chapter easier, but in lieu of making any counter-replies, I will expand at the end of this chapter on what a therapy ‘beyond’ CBT should look like, building on my work elsewhere (eg. Alsawy et al, 2014; Mansell, 2008a). This therapy is Method of Levels (MOL). Owing to the highly innovative nature of MoL, we would not consider it to be merely an example of a CBT. It has no greater affiliation with CBT than with any other school of psychotherapy. Indeed, it was first practised by a medical physicist, Bill Powers, who was trying to bring insights from engineering to develop a novel psychological theory. As such, it is not only beyond CBT, but beyond the alternative psychotherapies that are traditionally available. We wait to see whether its merits, in terms of its client-led nature, efficiency and scientific rigour, can make a lasting impact on the mental health sphere in this century, beyond that of CBT in the last century.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhy not CBT?
Subtitle of host publicationAgainst and For CBT Revisited
EditorsDel Loewenthal, Gillian Proctor
ISBN (Print)9781910919347
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2018